Greenland Dog: Breed Complete Guide

Country of origin: Greenland
Shoulder height: 55 – 65 cm
Weight: 25 – 35 kg
Age: 11 – 13 years
Color: all colors, one or more colors
Use: working dog, sled dog

The Greenland Dog is one of the most original of all sled dog breeds. They are persistent, tough-working dogs that need regular draft work to keep them physically and mentally busy. They are completely unsuitable as apartment or city dogs.

Origin and history

The Greenland dog is a very old Nordic breed of dog that has been used by the natives of Greenland for thousands of years as a transport dog and hunting dog when hunting bears and seals. When selecting the breed, the focus was therefore on the characteristics of strength, robustness, and endurance. The Inuits saw the Greenland Dog as a pure utility and working animal, bred to perform optimally in extreme arctic conditions.

Greenland dogs were also used as pack dogs on polar expeditions. In the legendary race to the South Pole in 1911, it was Greenland dogs that helped the Norwegian Amundsen to victory. The breed standard was recognized by the FCI in 1967.


The Greenland Dog is a large and very powerful polar spitz. The muscular body is predestined for the heavy work in front of the sled. Its fur consists of a dense, smooth top coat and plenty of undercoats, offering ideal protection against the arctic climate of its homeland. The fur on the head and legs is shorter than on the rest of the body.

The head is broad with a strong, wedge-shaped snout. The ears are small, triangular, rounded at the tips, and erect. The tail is thick and bushy and is carried in a bow or curled over the back.

The Greenland dog can be found in all colors – one or more colors.


Greenland Dogs are passionate, persistent sled dogs with a strong hunting instinct. They were bred purely as working dogs and never served as social partners. Therefore, Greenland dogs are not particularly personal. Although they are friendly and outgoing towards people, they do not develop a particularly close bond with one person. They also do not have a pronounced protective instinct and are therefore not suitable as guard dogs.

The pack and the observance of the prevailing hierarchy are important for the Greenland Dog, which can easily lead to quarrels among themselves. They are very independent and only slightly submissive. Greenland Dogs only accept clear leadership and retain their independence even with consistent training. Therefore, these dogs belong in the hands of connoisseurs.

Greenland Dogs need a job and need to be exercised both physically and mentally. That means regular, persistent pulling work – in front of the sled, the bicycle, or the training trolley. These dogs are therefore only suitable for sporty people who are out and about in nature a lot and who can regularly use their dog as a sled, draft, or pack dog. The owner of a Greenland Dog should also have good knowledge of the hierarchy behavior in a dog pack.

Ava Williams

Written by Ava Williams

Hello, I'm Ava! I have been writing professionally for just over 15 years. I specialize in writing informative blog posts, breed profiles, pet care product reviews, and pet health and care articles. Prior to and during my work as a writer, I spent about 12 years in the pet care industry. I have experience as a kennel supervisor and professional groomer. I also compete in dog sports with my own dogs. I also have cats, guinea pigs, and rabbits.

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